The Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Customs Service to immediately suspend the policy which has banned the importation of vehicles through land borders.
The Federal Government had last year announced the ban on the importation of used vehicles, popularly known as tokunbo, through land borders.
The implementation, through the Nigerian Customs Service, was to become effective on January 1, 2017.
However, a grace of three months was granted for those who must have placed their orders to complete the clearing process.
In a sponsored motion by Senator Barau Jibrin representing Kano North Senatorial District alongside four others, Senate argued that the ban will lead to over 500,000 job loss if government goes ahead with its implementation.
In his lead debate, Jibrin explained that economy of border villages and towns that depend on importation of vehicles through land routes will crumble.
“Distinguished Colleagues, lets take note that the ban would lead to the loss of about 500,000 jobs by people engaged in the business of vehicles importation and handling services in border areas and around the country,” Jibrin said.
Contributing to the debate, Senator Sam Egwu lashed at the federal government’s decision on car importation ban, saying it is anti-people.
He further maintained that the APC-led government has always created hardships for the citizens through unpopular policies.
Dino Melaye on his part, encouraged the Nigeria Customs Service to muster capacities to manage land borders so that there will be no leakage in revenues.
Shehu Sani maintained that interest of other nations having border lines with Nigeria should be taken into consideration, noting that those countries depend on car exportation to Nigeria for their revenues.
He added that the ban will create economic crises in those countries, while urging NCS to strengthen their services to curtail smuggling activities which was their fear.
“Mr. President, we have other countries who have been friends of Nigeria that depends on exporting cars to Nigeria and it will affect their economy if the ban is allowed, ” Sani said.
In his ruling, Ike Ekweremadu asked the Federal Ministry of Finance and Nigeria Customs Service to suspend the policy banning car importation.